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Hong Kong football team quarantined in Singapore

world Updated: Jun 22, 2009 20:24 IST
Hong Kong youth football team

Singapore on Monday quarantined 18 members of the Hong Kong youth football team after three players tested positive for swine flu ahead of a regional sports event.

Thirteen players, three coaches, a physiotherapist and a team official were placed under quarantine at a suburban beach resort, a spokeswoman for the Asian Youth Games (AYG) said.

In addition, two Singaporeans who served as liaison officers for the Hong Kong team were being quarantined at the Medical Centre Isolation Room within the Games Village, the spokeswoman said.

The three Hong Kong players found infected with the A(H1N1) virus were brought to a hospital for treatment.

The move to quarantine the team came after Singapore authorities at the weekend quarantined 19 members of the Philippine football contingent when one player tested positive for swine flu.

Organisers said football events involving the Philippines and Hong Kong had been cancelled until further notice.

Minister of Health Khaw Boon Wan told reporters the Asian Youth Games will go on as scheduled from June 29 to July 7, and organisers assured that all measures to ensure the well-being of participants have been put in place.

The games involve some 1,400 athletes from 45 countries. Although they officially start on June 29, football eliminations began on Saturday.

Khaw said the city-state now has a total of 168 confirmed cases of swine flu and urged Singaporeans to be prepared as more people from the local community -- instead of those arriving from abroad -- get infected.

The government has ramped up its laboratory facilities and all major hospitals will be capable of testing for the virus, he told reporters.

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